Driving Topless

A few events have converged to lead to this episode of little consequence; first, I just had the pleasure of logging a few thousand miles of top-down driving fun, third (chronologically), my sister just wrote an article in her blog about the singular pleasure of the experience, and second, I was recently ribbed for coming to a gentle stop at a yellow light while driving in Southern California.

In her blog Carol Anne mentioned that one feels more connected to the world when the top is down. This is undeniable, but it has effects on the driver that go far past what you might expect. Convertible drivers, by virtue (I believe) of their less-insulated state, are more courteous drivers. That’s not just the random assertion of a convertible driver, it’s based on Science. That’s right, there’s been a study. I can’t link to it, but I heard about it from the Actual Scientist. I think I did, anyway; my recollection is vague, but I’m pretty sure Click and Clack actually spoke to the individual involved. That’s NPR right there. Unassailable.

In any case, the Actual Scientific Study (a Master’s thesis, as I recall), involved driving around, stopping at traffic lights, and then not moving for ten agonizing seconds after the light turned green. The conclusion: drivers of convertibles were far less likely to honk their horns during those ten seconds. Someone got a Master’s degree for that.

There are lots of rude things that people do in cars that they would never do anywhere else. If everyone had no top on their cars, the roads would be much more civil. Heck, you might even have a nice conversation at the next traffic light. They’re good places to hang out.

2 thoughts on “Driving Topless

  1. A ‘gentle stop’ – sure you’re sticking to that story. Clutch foot and all?

    Stopping on a yellow ‘gently’ or not in Southern California is an invitation to exchange lots of information with the person behind you who hasn’t antispated your particular driving technique.

  2. The nice thing about convertibles is that you can see who you going to be berating before you berate.

    I hate it when you are all worked up and ready to spit out some bile-filled invectives but are stopped short because you can’t tell through their double tinted windows if they’re twice your size and racking up a round in their gat.

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